This year's expanded Palate experience at Kaaboo, which ranges from appearances from big-time culinary luminaries to even more food and drink options, will also feature the second edition of its Rock'n Chef Competition. Presented in partnership with Chef's Roll, the contest has now gone regional. While last year's competitors were all from San Diego and included Brian Malarkey (Herb & Wood), Javier Plascencia (Bracero) and the ultimate champion, Jason McLeod (Ironside Fish & Oyster), the 2016 culinary showdown will be seeded with chefs from Chef's Roll's regional Chef's Plate competitions in Phoenix, Palm Springs and San Diego.
This past Monday in Phoenix, chef Dushyant Singh of The Camby Hotel became the first official competitor, while the next chef will be selected at the Chef's Plate event in Palm Springs on August 15. The San Diego contest is scheduled for August 29, with The Cork and Craft's Phillip Esteban, DJ Tangalin, Anthony Sinsay, Claudette Wilkins Steve Brown, Roseanna Peyron, Michael Poompan and Josh Maynard among the local chefs vying for the four remaining spots in the ultimate Rock'n Chef Competition, which will be held at Kaaboo at the Del Mar Racetrack on Saturday, September 17 from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Last year's champ McLeod will be on the judges' panel, along with "People's Chef" James Montejano, MasterChef Season 6 winner Claudia Sandoval and Top Chef Season 13 contestant Giselle Wellman. This year's winner will receive entry to the World Food Championships in November for a chance to win $100,000, plus a custom handmade knife, an exclusive commemorative chef's coat by Chef Works and more.